Articles, Reflections, & Announcements
Attention Group & Activity Coordinators!
By Trudy Deyle
A UUCT directory update is coming in early December. We will only list committees, groups and activities that are currently active. If a group or activity that you coordinate has not been meeting but is planning to start up again, please email Adriane and Trudy as soon as possible: firstname.lastname@example.org and membership@ uutallahassee.org.
Chalica, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa are all coming around soon. This is the time when we all want to go the extra mile for our community. Many organizations provide gifts, services, special meals – hugs from volunteers – so many things that will not be able to happen this year.
The tradition of The Grace Mission Family and Children’s Christmas Service for children and families who are part of Grace’s SOAR after school program (http://www.gracemission.net/outreaches/childrensprograms/soar-after-school-program.aspx) usually held at St John’s had to be cancelled due to Covid. Grace has other plans and UUCT members have the opportunity to help make those plans reality. On December 11, Grace will host a virtual blessing, as well as provide holiday dinner boxes for the families and Christmas gifts for the children enrolled in the S.O.A.R.
How is UUCT Helping?
UUCT will provide 9 dinner boxes for families. These are boxes that will have the ‘fixing’ for a dinner they can cook as a family. A generous donation of turkeys has already been made to Grace for these boxes so we are not responsible for turkeys.
Each box will contain:
whole raw turkey (already donated to Grace)
2 bags/boxes of instant mashed potatoes
4 cans green beans and/or corn
1 can/jar turkey gravy
2 bags instant stuffing mix
1 1# box of butter (donated by a friend of UUCT)
1 can cranberry sauce
1 pumpkin pie
Remember: we are making 9 boxes – so the numbers above need to be multiplied by 9.
TIMEFRAME: All food (or money if you choose*) needs to be at UUCT by December 5 so we can inventory, purchase remaining items, if necessary, then make the boxes. *If donation is made and there is money left, it will go to Grace Mission.
HELP WANTED: On Tuesday, December 8 – we need 6-8 people (masked) on the veranda to decorate (bring your art supplies, wrapping paper, wreath stuff ) We will decorate and put the boxes together and get them delivered to Grace.
REUSE, RECYCLE, REPURPOSE: 1. If you have a basket sitting in a corner that you have wanted to replace, now is a good time. If it will hold the ingredients of our dinner box, feel free to drop it at the church.
2. If you have small holiday decorations, for any of the holidays this time of year that could be used for decorating please put them in the (brown paper) bags with your food donation.
After we (over)fill the dinner boxes, any left over food will go to Manna for its December distribution, so feel free to donate heavily.
This is my favorite time of year – we celebrate a number of traditions in our home and all are joyous. I am partial to angels and nativities, but we also have our “Mensch on the Bench” and our Menorah and a Kwanzaa candle. Each has special meanings in the family but the one meaning they all share is the importance of love and sharing. Here is a way to celebrate those values with families in our own community.
Thank you for all you continue to do.
Monthly BIPOC Group
As a self-identifying person of color, you are welcomed to attend our monthly gathering. We are an informal group coming together to share and support our community. Our next meeting is Sunday November 22 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM. To join our Zoom gathering, click here.
Phonebanking this Sunday
This year we witnessed record voter turnout with more people voting in any election in U.S. history. Let’s make history again!
We know that the strongest democracy is one where more people have a voice in electing their representative. UU the Vote have registered over 5000 voters. With your help, we can register thousands more before the voter registration deadline on December 7th.
Help us GOTV in GA. Sign up now!
Join us for a faith-wide How We Win celebration and election debrief on November 21st, from 4-5:30 pm EST/1-2:30 pm PST. Sign up today and be the first to get updated on how UU the Vote is building power into 2021!
Allies for Racial Equity at UUCT
By Linda Wright
The Elephant in the Room
Fifty-five percent of white Americans think that racism against white people is just as important a social problem as racism against people of color, according to a 2017 study. You know these people—they are your neighbor, your co-worker, and your uncle. They say statements about race that make you cringe. You give them facts; you reason with them; you yell at them; they yell back; you stop speaking with them.
Dr. David Campt lists the reasons why we should continue to talk about racism with people we disagree with: racism against people of color is a specific problem that needs to be addressed; unless we address this, America’s overall progress will be undermined; white people have a special obligation and role to play in dismantling racism; and, productively talking with other whites is part of that obligation.
On Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 10:30 am, the Allies for Racial Equity group at UUCT will be offering a special event led by Carolyn DuBard and June Noel. This is an opportunity to sample the methods that Dr. Campt recommends for compassionate conversations: RACE, standing for Reflecting, Asking, Connecting, and Expanding.
All are welcome. Please contact Linda Wright if you are interested in attending. If you are unable to attend at this time, but are interested in the material, please also contact Linda Wright. If there is sufficient interest, we are willing to repeat the demonstration at a more convenient time for you.
When I hear the words “white privilege” and “white supremacy” I cringe. Do you? Lately I have learned that if I want to work towards being antiracist, I need to feel discomfort. I have learned that it is necessary to examine how, even I, hold white privilege. I have begun to examine my own (often unconscious) racist thoughts and behaviors.
I don’t believe that white people are superior. If we describe ourselves as a justice-seeking, anti-racist people isn’t it worth some time and effort and discomfort? Awareness leads to action, and action leads to change.
Beginning on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 the Allies for Racial Equity group at UUCT (ARE@UUCT) will start a multiple-session program using the book Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad. The program includes personal reflection, journaling and the option to share our learning.
This opportunity will lead participants towards understanding their white privilege and participation in white supremacy, so that we can stop inflicting damage on Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), and in turn, help other white people do better, too.
If you wish to join us you must do so before we begin. Once we start this journey we will be closed to new members until all the sessions are completed.
Create the change the world needs by creating change within yourself. Contact Linda Wright for more information. If you are unable to attend at this time, but are interested in the material, please also contact Linda Wright. If there is sufficient interest, we are willing to repeat the demonstration at a more convenient time for you.
Discussion and Covenant Building: Centering BIPOC Voices
By Robin Gray
The next gathering of Centering BIPOC Voices on Saturday December 12, 2020 will give all participants a chance to discuss an interesting book and to help to develop a covenant for the group.
A covenant is an agreement, a pledge, a promise from each member to other members. It is an important part of a group like ours that encourages open discussion. In this context our covenant will help each participant live into the values of Unitarian Universalism. Values that encourage us to listen carefully to one another, work through disagreements, and support the goals of the group.
We encourage everyone interested in Centering BIPOC Voices to attend this meeting and create a covenant. The book for this month is an essay from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie entitled “We Should All Be Feminists”. Adichie is a Nigerian who considers America her adoptive land. She may be known to you as the author of “Americanah” (2013). “We Should All Be Feminists” is a brief book that explores her views on African feminism, gender and sexuality. Topics that can lead to a lively discussion.
In January we’ll be reading and discussing “Bless Me, Ultima” by Rudofo Anaya, a coming of age story set in rural New Mexico.
Contact Robin Gray (email@example.com) to receive the Zoom log in information for each second Saturday discussion. December 12, 3:30 PM – “We Should All Be Feminists” and January 9, 3:30 PM – “Bless Me, Ultima”
General Invitation to Memorial Service for Marci Whittenberger
You are invited to attend a memorial service for Marci Whittenberger who died on November 5, 2020.
We will hold the service for Marci from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM on Sunday, November 22, 2020, at the Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park at 3540 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee FL 32309.
Use GPS, a map, or memory to find the park. After the entrance to the park turn right on the first PAVED road marked by the sign “recreation area.” At the end of this road you will see a lake and slightly to the left you will see the pavilion where the service will be held. The entrance fee into the park is $6 for vehicles containing 2-8 passengers, single rider vehicle fee is $4.
The wearing of masks is strongly encouraged. This will be a secular humanist ceremony. If you want to present memories or reflections on Marci’s life, there will be an opportunity for this.